Kelly's Cycle Challenge

Sunday, 19 May 2019

TRAINING PROGRAMME FOR 74 MILE CHALLENGE

Below is a suggested 15 week training programme. If you complete the plan, you should find you can cope with 70 miles with no problem.

GETTING STARTED: Little and often is the key!

Don't let poor weather and lack of daylight put you off!!  A spinning class at your gym is ideal this time of year! Usually of an hour's duration, they will help build a foundation for your muscular and cardiovascular fitness.

Don't let a lack of a bike put you off either!  A static spinning bike is a good substitute for the real thing. If you do all your training on a static spinning bike, this should enable you to complete your chosen distance. However you will need a bike for the event. 

Always warm up and stretch before exercise. This should replicate the action of what the work will be and warm the muscles to be used during the session. Therefore, light spinning is good for a spinning session. If at any time you begin to experience acute pain and discomfort whilst performing the exercise, stop.

Aim to improve your core strength (stomach and lower back muscles), especially if you're not used to sitting in the cycle position for long periods of time. It will also give your leg muscles a good solid platform to work from. Core exercise can be done in the comfort of your own home or why not join a Pilates class?

Rate of Perceived Effort (RPE): 1 = easy 10 = hard

Week 1

Spin class 2 times a week with at least 1 day between each class. Each class should be at least 1 hour long. Choose the right spin class for your level of fitness. If you haven't been on a bike for a while, think about the beginner's class.  This should be an easy paced class that is introducing your body to the cycling action and being in a cycling position. RPE 3 - 4.

At the weekend, take your bike out.  Measure a distance that you think you'll be capable of completing and is undulating in profile. 6 miles would be a good distance. Aim to complete this in approximately 1 hour.  Massage ITB.

Week 2

Spin class twice a week with at least 1 day in between each class. Select the same level. RPE: 5.

Resistance exercises

Squats: Complete 3 x 10 reps. x 3.
Leg curls: Complete 3 x 10 - 15 reps x 3.

Core exercises to build core strength:

Plank: Adopt the prone position and support your body on your fore arms and toes only. Maintain a straight line from toes to head. Avoid raising and lowering your backside. Squeeze your backside muscle together (glutes) and stomach (abdominal) muscles. Hold for 20 secs. Rest for 15 secs. Repeat 3 times.

Side plank: Lie down on your side. Rest body on your forearm beneath you and your feet beneath you. Maintain straight line from foot to head. Avoid letting your shoulders roll forward. Avoid dropping your backside. Engage your glutes and abdominals. Hold for 20 secs. Rest for 15 secs. Repeat 5 times. Be sure to work both sides.

At the weekend, take your bike out. Complete the same distance as the last weekend. Do this on Saturday or Sunday.

Week 3

Spin class 2 times a week with at least 1 day between each class. Select the same level. If you are completing the class without feeling too uncomfortable, add more resistance to the machine each time the instructor tells you to. RPE: 6.

Resistance exercises:

Squats as before. Complete 4 x 10 reps. x 3.
Core plank as before.
Side plank as before.
At the weekend take your bike out. On Saturday ride the 6 miles route and aim to beat your time. On Sunday ride for an hour and a half following a new route. The distance should be 10 - 20 miles.

Weeks 4, 5, 6 & 7

Spin class 3 times a week with at least 1 day rest between each class. Move to intermediate level or add more resistance. RPE 6. If it becomes easier as you progress, add more resistance, which will naturally increase the RPE.

Resistance exercises

Squats: Complete 4 sets of 10 reps.
Leg curls: complete 4 x 10 - 15 reps x 3.
Calf raises: complete 4 x10 - 15 reps x 3.
Core plank as before but hold for 25 secs. Rest for 15 secs. Repeat 5 times.
Side plank as before but hold for 25 secs. Rest for 15 secs. Repeat 5 times.

At the weekends, on Saturday ride the 6 miles route. On Sunday, ride the hour and a half route. As the weekends progress add an extra 5 miles each Sunday so that by week 7 you're up to 35 - 40 miles.
NB: IF YOU'RE TRAINING FOR THE 45 MILES RIDE, THIS WEEK SHOULD BE A REST WEEK, I.E. IGNORE THE ABOVE.

If you feel like a light spin either on the bike or on the spinning machine, do it mid week and make sure it's not hard.

IF YOU'RE TRAINING FOR THE 70 MILES, READ ON!

Week 8

Spin class 3 times a week with at least 1 day between each class. Keep increasing resistance.
Some spin classes will be more specific than generic. Look for interval sessions or a session that replicates hill work. Follow the instructor and resist the temptation to not adding resistance.
RPE 7.

Resistance exercises:

Squats. 4 x10 - 15 reps x 3. Think about adding weight: holding dumbbells, or bags of shopping!
Leg curls: 4 x 10 - 15 reps x 3
Calf raises: 4 x 10 - 15 reps x 3. If this becomes easy, perform exercise carrying weight.
Core plank as before but hold for 25 secs. Rest for 15 secs. Repeat 5 times.
Side plank as before but hold for 25 secs. Rest for 15 secs. Repeat 5 times.

At the weekend: on Saturday ride 15 - 25 miles at steady pace. On Sunday, ride the same route and try to beat Saturday's time.

Weeks 9 & 10

Spin class 3 times a week, with at least 1 day between each class. Look for specific classes - interval sessions and hill sessions will be the more beneficial. RPE 7. However, pay attention to your body. If you're feeling tired, do an easier session.

Resistance exercises:

Squats as per week 8. Add some lightweight dumbbells to the resistance. Be sure to maintain technique. If you can't maintain the technique, use less weight.
Leg curls as per week 8.
Calf raises as per week 8.
Core plank as before. Alternate lifting and holding one leg in the air for 3 secs, while holding the plank position.
Dynamic Side Plank: Turn onto your side. Raise yourself to rest on your forearm and on bent knee beneath you. Keep the upper leg straight. Whilst maintaining the straight line between head and bent knee of lower leg, raise and the upper leg in a controlled and slow fashion. Return upper leg to start position. Repeat. Be sure to work both legs. Be sure to engage the abdominal muscles as the leg rises. If done correctly, this will cause a dull ache in your backside when you walk.  Repeat 3 x 10 per leg.

At the weekend take your bike out on Sunday and aim to cover 35 - 40 miles.

Week 11

Spin class 3 times a week, with at least 1 day between each class. RPE 7 - 8.
Resistance exercises: As per week 10.
Core: as per week 10.
At the weekend, take your bike out and aim to cover 45 miles working at a steady pace. RPE 7. On Sunday only.

Week 12

Spin class 3 times a week. RPE 6 - 7. Start the week light. Gradually build the work rate as week progresses.
Resistance work as per week 10.
Core planks as per week 10.
Side planks as per week 10.
At the weekend, take your bike out and aim to cover 50 miles. Make sure there are hills to climb on the route.

Week 13

Spin class 3 times a week. Each session should have RPE of 7 - 8.

Resistance exercises

Dynamic squats: 3 x 10 reps with a 1 minute in between each set.
Leg curls: 4 x 10 - 15 reps x 3.
Calf raises: 4 x 10 -15 reps x 3.
Dynamic Front Plank: adopt the position and hold for 25 secs. Whilst holding the position, bring bent right knee forward around the right side of your prone body, towards your right elbow. Then return it to the start position. Repeat with left leg around left side of your body. Repeat. Be sure to engage the abdominals whilst bringing the leg forward.

At the weekend, ride your bike for at least 55 miles. Make sure there are hills to climb on the route.

Week 14

Spin class 3 times a week. At least one interval / hill climbing sessions with RPE of 7 - 8, occasionally rising to 9.

Resistance exercises

Dynamic squats: 3 x 10 reps x 3 with 1 minute between each set.
Single leg curls: 3 x 10 reps x 3 with 1 minute rest between each set.

At the weekend, take the bike out and aim to cover 60 miles. Make sure there are hills to climb on the route.

Week 15

Rest week. Light spin session mid week.

By the following weekend you should be mentally and physically prepared to cover the 70 miles. Even though you won't have covered the 70 miles in training, the atmosphere, adrenalin and the moment will make sure you cross the line.